Dr. Graper and Dr. Harper – Breast Lift Experts
If the skin is not elastic, then the nipple and breast will sag. Despite what you may have heard, there is no amount of exercise or any creams that will correct this problem. The solution to the problem is to lift the breast and reposition it on the chest where it is more youthful and attractive. The nipple needs to be centered over the breast and the shape adjusted to patient preferences. These changes can be made with a simple plastic surgery procedure.
Types of Breast Lift
There are three general types of breast lift incisions, but not all techniques are applicable to every patient. Peri-areolar or a “donut lift” can sometimes be done if the nipple is just slightly low and the rest of the breast is in a good position. This is a better skin tightening procedure than it is a lift and is rarely recommended. The next, slightly more aggressive breast lift, is called a circum-vertical lift or “lollipop lift” and involves not only lifting the nipple, but also re-shaping the breasts. This breast lift involves an incision around the entire nipple and extends down to the fold under the breasts. This breast lift procedure is for patients with minimal droopiness but poorer shape to their breasts that also needs to be addressed.
The most common and comprehensive breast lift is one that uses the ‘anchor’ incision which extends around the nipple, from the nipple to the fold, and then along the underside of the breast in the fold. This plastic surgery procedure re-shapes the breast and lifts both the nipple and the breast itself into the proper position. It is the most powerful option and the one that is most frequently recommended. The additional incision in the fold is hidden from sight and this technique allows us to get the breast shaped in all dimensions and often delivers the best-looking result. This procedure is often combined with breast augmentation to achieve the look desired by the patient.
While the incisions are what you see, the technique used to reposition your breast tissue is what determines your shape. This is critical to the overall result. Depending on your goals and your current breast position, you may be a candidate for a special technique using a superiorly-based breast pedicle that creates even more cleavage and can use other portions of breast tissue to dramatically improve your breast projection compared to traditional techniques. This procedure is called a “superior pedicle with auto-augmentation” in that your own tissues are used in a way to act and look as if an implant was placed.
These procedures are all done in our facility under general anesthesia. We also use local anesthesia to decrease postoperative discomfort. Afterward, the breasts are swollen and may be tender for several days. As the swelling resolves, so will the discomfort.
Potential Risks of Breast Lift Surgery
All cosmetic surgery procedures can have potential complications such as bleeding or infection, but this is rare with mastopexies. We take very careful measurements to maximize the symmetry between the breasts. In the unusual event that significant asymmetry exists postoperatively, we will correct it. Nipple sensation should be normal post-op, but may be temporarily decreased due to swelling.
The main concern that patients have about mastopexy is the scars. We are very aware of this issue, and therefore spend a great amount of time reviewing breast lift photos so patients can know what to expect. What our patients have told us is that when their breasts are droopy and out of shape, then the dramatic improvement in the appearance of the breasts far outweighs the presence of the scars. If the breasts are basically good but just a little low, then the effect of the cosmetic surgery may not be as positive for that patient because they did not have as much to gain. Again, we can help you understand if the breast lift procedure would be an overall improvement for you. In any event, the scars require approximately one year to mature. At that point, they turn white and fade into the natural creases around the breasts, and are difficult to see. All of our patients do scar management after surgery. Beginning at week two, our patients will use paper tape and scar reduction gel to help minimize the appearance of their scars and expedite their healing process. We also offer laser treatments to help reduce scarring in those who are great candidates.
Mastopexy surgery is a great operation for patients whose breasts show the effects of pregnancy, weight gain, genetics, normal aging, or a combination of all four. The procedure will reproduce the youthful and attractive appearance that patients desire in a safe and predictable fashion.
Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions
Most of our Charlotte breast lift patients are discharged approximately 1 hour after the surgery is completed when they are alert and can take liquids well. They are sent home where most people sleep for several hours. We write prescriptions for pain medicine, antibiotics, and nausea medicine for the occasional patient who doesn’t tolerate the anesthesia well. The doctor will call the evening of the procedure to check on you and to answer any questions.